Is your patio just an open ground that lies neglected through out the year? Do you want your children to spend more time in the patio, so that they can grow close to nature, deriving much of their mental nourishment from it? Nothing comes out of nothing, nothing ever could… if you want your family to spend every second of their free time in the patio (leaving the house neat and tidy, that will be bonus point) you have to decorate it in such a way that they are automatically attracted towards it.
Buy a Tiki umbrella to start a tropical patio. Add some raffia like umbrella cover on it. That will give it an authentic tropical look. Put some wicker chairs under it. Wicker is generally made of weeds, reed, or cane. They are no doubt eco friendly, but needs to be sheltered from elements of nature. Therefore, it is wiser to buy all weather wicker furniture instead. These furniture look just like authentic cane furniture, but are made of synthetic fiber instead of natural ones and therefore can withstand heat, cold, rain and shine much more than ordinary wicker furniture can.
For furniture, opt for all weather wicker furniture or bamboo furniture. The centerpiece on your table can be made out of banana leaves with bowls of tropical fruit in it. Look to locations such as Bali and Hawaii for inspiration. When it comes to tropical themed patios, it’s all about being light and airy. Take advantage of natural lighting by adding mirrors such as oval wicker framed mirrors that are only a few dollars and it is also an easy find. To protect people from sunlight, use patio umbrellas in yellow or white. Apart from tiki torches, you can also use pineapple outdoor lighting to really set the scene. From lights to even lamps, use those that symbolize tropical plants and fruits. These are relatively easy to get as it can be found in thrift stores and even dollar stores.
Look for some tropical knickknacks as well. Poke around dollar stores or thrift stores for such curios. Artificial tropical fruits in a platter, shaped like a banana leaf will make a wonderful centerpiece. Rattan baskets make lovely bric-a-brac that you can hang here and there and so do bamboo pots that can hold your flowerpots beautifully. You can even install a bamboo tiki bar, if you have enough space. You can also use all these fixtures if your theme is Asian instead of tropical. The only difference is that while tropical region is more volatile, the Asian theme at least is more tranquil. The color scheme here should have a calming effect. If your climate permits, plant some Asiatic trees as well. Alternately, try to create a Zen garden in your patio. Such gardens can be very big or they can be small enough to fit on your desktop. Try to visit a real Zen garden to get some clear idea about them and then search the internet for step-by-step instruction.
Incorporate some water element in your patio for true Asian look. If you have the space, you can include a small lily pool in one corner of the patio. Fountains too will look nice. If you cannot have either, you can at least install an aquarium at one side because water has some calming effect on our nerves. Try to create a few bonsai, although they, like any other trees take time to grow. See if you can add statues or can hang some pictures of dragons or Chinese or Japanese calligraphy across the wall.
Water bodies are must for the nautical theme. Try to plant those trees and bushes that grow near the beach in your area. See if you can buy a discarded boat and then turn it into piece d’art. With little imagination, fishing nets can make beautiful wall hangings. Have beach umbrellas instead of patio umbrellas and teak or cedar furniture instead of wicker, though there is no reason why all weather wicker furniture will not gel. Have marine prints on the cushions. In fact, all the accessories should relate to marine life or activities. Driftwood makes beautiful focal point, so does art pieces made with seashells. Look through your attics to find discarded curios and toys and you will be surprised find a lot of the material in there. The dollar stores are there to supply the rest. Do not hurry, but build your patio slowly.
Kenny Leichester is a foremost expert in the interior design industry specializing in the outdoor or patio settings using outdoor cushions, patio umbrellas, outdoor cushions, patio heaters, patio lighting and so on to create exquisitely beautiful layout. His work on outdoor patio umbrella are widely distributed and is a regular contributor to PatioShoppers.com.